PS11.02 Urban Flexibility
architecture as a social agent
Russell Kingdom + Nigel Bertram

June 13, 2011
The Bakery
233 James Street, Northbridge
Bar/Doors open 5:30 pm for 6 pm start
Entry $10, $5 students

RSVP by 5 pm Friday 3rd June
Office of the Government Architect
e: ps11@bmw.wa.gov.au
t: 08 9440 2589

RUSSELL KINGDOM is head of City Design at the City of Perth. Russell practiced architecture and urban design in London before migrating to Perth. Since then, he has worked on various State Government projects as well as for the Fremantle City Council and City of Perth.

Russell will present projects and proposals contributing to the reinvigoration Perth’s network of laneways.

NIGEL BERTRAM is a lecturer at RMIT University and one of NMBW directors. Nigel is a director of the Urban Architecture Laboratory masters programme. His research includes studying the relationships between architecture; infrastructure and landscape; inhabitation and use of contemporary urban environments and the development and built history of Australian cities. NBMW has an emphasis on urban engagement and culturally-specific design.

Nigel will present projects that encourage and provoke new relationships between people and places/their environment through re-use.


rc said...

I scrawled these comments of Nigel Bertram’s last night. Apologies for any misrepresentation from my poor transcription, and from this complete lack of context.

“That’s why everyone loves laneways – because you can do all the things in a laneway you can’t do in a street. You can put out the milk crate and sit on it. Try doing that on Collins Street.”

“Architects don’t tend to like thinking about their buildings being renovated. But, maybe we should think about designing an A grade building that has some of the quality of the B grade buildings we love: depth, patina, ability to be renovated cheaply...”

FJE said...

Great to hear a glimpse (excuse the mixed metaphors) from PS11 RC - I was regretfully unable to go.

Some of Bertram's ideas mentioned in your second scrawl are explored in his review of Simon Anderson's Factory House in the latest AA, the May/July '11 housing special.

HG said...

I also liked Bertram's ideas about designing spaces with a bit of ambiguity so that users can add something / interpret the use of space e.g. a surface that is 600 mm off the ground is neither a chair nor a table, but can be used for both, or an extra-large corridor that is too small to be a room can still be used to hold people in other ways.

A similar project idea (proposed for Think Brick) was to have a permanent service core module that sits on the edge of a site, to which users can add more 'temporary' structures (and therefore allow some flexibility in the way suburbs grow and change over time).

It was interesting to hear about what goes on in City of Perth Design office. Sometimes it's a shame to hear that regulations don't respond to design gestures (e.g. the malls have been renovated but there hasn't been much deregulation of trading hours yet so people don't/can't stick around). However it seems like there has been some positive response by the public to various urban gestures the City is making (I love the idea of having cultural days in the Northbridge piazza - who doesn't love the idea of a Butcher's picnic?).

I'm unsure about the aim of turning Perth (back?) into a ground floor city in the long run - I don't think those first floor walkways are all bad and as KF mentioned, sometimes you do just need to get through the city quickly (but maybe if public transport ran more frequently we wouldn't be in such a rush to catch the bus/train that only comes every half hour in the evenings).

HG said...

See here for NMBW's Think Brick project.

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